Knife crime offenders in London will be fitted with GPS trackers upon release from prison.

A year-long pilot scheme will see 100 offenders who have been jailed for crimes such as knife possession, wounding and grievous bodily harm be tagged with devices which will record their location.

The trial, announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, will seek to tackle violent crime in the city and will take place in the four London boroughs worst hit by knife crime – Lewisham, Lambeth, Croydon and Southwark.

Those tagged with the GPS device will have their location automatically checked against the scenes of reported crime. The data will be handed over to police.

Mr Khan said the causes of violent crime are extremely complex, acknowledging the role of poverty, inequality and the lack of opportunities he says are exacerbated by government cuts.

This innovative pilot will build on the good work of the City Hall-funded violent crime task force by helping offenders integrate back into society and reducing the risk of reoffending, as well as giving the police the information they need to thoroughly investigate reported crimes, he said.

The scheme will launch on 18 February.

There were 128 homicides in London in 2018, the highest number in a calendar year this decade.

The longest London went without a killing in 2018 was 16 days, according to Sky News analysis.

(c) Sky News 2019: Knife crime offenders in London to be fitted with tracking device